Former Jets GM Mike Tannenbaum Says Giving Mark Sanchez Contract Extension Cost Him Job

Rex Ryan, Mike Tannenbaum, Woody JohnsonThe New York Jets severely underachieved in 2012, finishing with one of the league’s worst records at 6-10. The ugly season was marred by a quarterback controversy between Mark Sanchez and Tim Tebow, and it ultimately cost general manager Mike Tannenbaum his job.

Tannenbaum has been making the media rounds in recent weeks, finding his way onto ESPN, NBC Sports and now even NFL Network broadcasts in what appears to be auditions for a post-NFL job. During his stop with the NFL Network crew on Thursday, Tannenbaum reflected on his final year with the Jets and even pointed to Sanchez’s five-year contract extension as the reason he was fired.

“I don’t think I would have signed a quarterback to an extension knowing that he’d have 26 turnovers,” Tannenbaum said during Thursday’s NFL AM. “That might be one of the reasons I’m right sitting here with you guys.”

Sanchez’s deficiencies in the passing game and high turnover rate in 2012 definitely played a role in the Jets’ demise, but Tannenbaum knew what he was getting when he inked Sanchez to a five-year, $58 million extension last offseason. Sanchez’s 26 turnovers were a league high in 2012 but he managed the same number (26) in 2011, making Tannenbaum’s claim nothing more than a baseless excuse.

While Tannenbaum’s statements about Sanchez seem a little bit disingenuous, at least he was honest in admitting what a failure acquiring Tebow turned out to be earlier this offseason.

Now that the Jets have turned the page on Tebow in the wake of last season’s debacle, there is hope for the future. But the roster is still something of a train wreck heading forward and, just as with Sanchez’s overpriced extensions, for that you can thank Tannenbaum.

Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it to his Mailbag.

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